Tinubu Should Have Recognised Atiku, Obi In Democracy Day Speech – Bwala

“How in the world could you talk about democracy and the fight for democracy in Nigeria without mentioning Atiku Abubakar?”

A photo combination of President Bola Tinubu, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, and former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi


The spokesperson for the 2023 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign, Daniel Bwala, has criticised President Bola Tinubu for leaving out Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi in his Monday Democracy Day speech.

Tinubu was declared the winner of the February 25 presidential election, whereas the PDP’s Atiku and Obi of the Labour Party came second and third, respectively. Both men are challenging the results in court.

“How in the world could you talk about democracy and the fight for democracy in Nigeria without mentioning Atiku Abubakar?” Bwala asked during his Wednesday appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“The President did not mention Atiku Abubakar, and that, to me, is not reflective of the unity posture.”

Asked what his expectations were of Tinubu with regard to the recognition of the former vice president, Bwala held that the day was a celebration of the life and struggles of Chief Moshood “MKO” Abiola.

The annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election was presumably won by Abiola. In 2018, former President Muhammadu Buhari declared the date as the country’s official Democracy Day, no longer May 29.

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“You need to know that the person who stepped down for Abiola in the primaries was Atiku Abubakar and the struggle continued,” Bwala said.

“So, I thought that he should be able to extend that olive branch. Even Peter Obi; he ought to have mentioned Peter Obi because Peter Obi, for the first time in the history of Nigeria, represented a move we’ve never had, a third force. We’ve never had a third force.”

According to him, there were previous efforts to form a third force that were not as successful.

Obi’s party however managed to win the presidential election in constituencies considered to be strongholds of his opponents, including Lagos State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). 

“Coming at a time when the younger generation said they wanted a new thing, I felt that [Obi’s feat] was contributing to democratic ideals,” the PDP campaign spokesman argued.

“He didn’t say anything about the EndSARS. The EndSARS was a struggle of young people. These are acts and moves that entrench democracy.”